A year ago, we wrote about the Dandelion School in Daxing District. As the only officially recognized high school for children of migrant workers, Dandelion principal Hong Zheng and her dedicated staff have their work cut out for them. The school takes its mission of self-reliance seriously and doesn’t get by solely on donations, but every yuan helps considering Dandelion’s yearly running costs of RMB 3.5 million. Here are some ways you can help.
1. Buy Dandelion’s gift products
The Dandelion School relies on a social enterprise initiative that repackages their students’ art into usable and creative gifts like notebooks.With Christmas just around the corner, this is a gift idea that is original, sustainable, and great for your karma. Dandelion’s products can be purchased directly through the school, at the Kerry Centre, or at Dandelion’s downtown office (see below for contact information). Dandelion also sells its products at seasonal bazaars and directly to corporations.
Some of Dandelion’s most pressing needs are tuition and boarding fees. For RMB 680/semester, you can sponsor a student’s tuition; for RMB 500/year, you can ensure that he or she has somewhere to stay at the school. People can also donate more material goods, like warm winter clothing (hats, coats, and gloves), blankets, or money to buy coal for heating. There are three ways to donate: directly to the school, by wire transfer within China, or by cheque from abroad.
Volunteering can be done year-round at the Dandelion School. Volunteers can work on a variety of areas, including English, life skills (such as interviewing for a job), and after school activities. Many high school students from international schools (ages 14+) have done community service hours or earned merit badges at Dandelion. In the past, teens have helped Dandelion’s students with music, sports, English, tutoring, and art projects. Volunteer hours are flexible, with no minimum time requirement. The best times are afternoons, evenings, and weekends.
4. Spread the word
One of the best things you can do for any charitable organization is to tell others about it. Spread the word about the Dandelion School’s mission, needs, and volunteering opportunities. Get your child’s entire high school class to volunteer for a day, or tell members of your community how they can help.
The Dandelion School: 22 Tuanhe Lu, Shoubaozhuang, Xihongmen Township, Daxing District (6128 8964/6686) www.dandelionschool.org
To find out more about Dandelion’s social enterprise or to see the school’s products, contact Dodo Dou at firstname.lastname@example.org or 158 1068 2963.